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Recap: Try Something New Tuesday 46

Posted Mar 02 2011 8:18am

Good morning! :)

Happy hump day! I hope you’re having a great week so far. Did anyone else celebrate Try Something New Tuesday ? This past weekend I found some items that inspired my new things yesterday. Here’s what happened:

1. Recipe of the Week: Healthy Egg Fried Rice with Tofu . When I was younger and my dad was in charge of making dinner, I remember being served a lot of rice. Not brown rice. Not rice with anything exciting in it. Just plain, white rice. Can you say boring? Well this friends, is not boring rice. Nor is it the unhealthy, fat-laden kind that you might expect to find at Chinese takeout restaurants. It contains very little oil, and the tofu and egg give it enough protein to make it a complete meal.

2. Starfruit. Well, a very unripe one in this photo, which was taken on Saturday…

… and a not-much-more-ripe one by yesterday:

I know starfruit is supposed to turn yellow as it ripens, but I’m a little suspicious that this just isn’t going to happen to mine. I read a little bit about how to store them, and found out that in order to get a starfruit to turn yellow, it’s best to leave it on the counter in a plastic bag. That’s exactly what I did, and despite the fact that its smell certainly got stronger, I didn’t have much luck in getting it to go yellow.

Although it wasn’t an ideal situation, I still decided to eat the fruit yesterday. After all, I don’t think anyone’s ever died from eating an under-ripe one. I may have tried starfruit once before, but it would have only been as a garnish on a dessert or something. This is the first one I’ve actually purchased myself. A few fun facts about the starfruit:

 

(Source)

  • They grow in Thailand, South East Asia, Australia, and South America, but can also be grown in Florida and Hawaii.
  • They’re packed with vitamin C, which means they’re good for fighting off colds
  • One fruit has only 30 calories and very little fat.
  • Their high fiber content helps you to feel full
  • The fruit can be used as a medicinal remedy for hangovers, and a stain remover (for wine spilled on carpets maybe?)
  • They can be eaten fresh, juiced, in syrups, or pickled (no thanks)

In order to figure out how to eat this very pretty but somewhat odd fruit, I consulted this source , which said to cut off the skin at the brown ridges.

Next, I cut off the flatter end. These fruits grow on trees, so at one point, the end I cut was attached to a stem.

(Source)

The next step was to slice it and take out the little seeds, but there weren’t very many of these.

Finally, I ate it. But with what? Well, my next new thing, of course…..

3. President’s Choice single-serving Greek yogurt. While I was running on the treadmill at the gym one morning last week, I saw something on the news about how people (I believe they were in Toronto) were being given free samples of PC breakfast products. One of these was single-serving Greek yogurts. Up until now, I’ve been a loyal Liberte fan because that’s all I’ve been able to find. (Sadly, Chobani hasn’t made its way to Canada yet but I’ll be first in line when it does). I was pretty excited to find out that there was another brand available, but even more excited to see the snack-sized containers. Unfortunately the PC Plain Greek Yogurt only comes in a 500mL tub, but the 142g containers come in Strawberry and Peach & Passionfruit .

Since I usually add my own flavourings to plain yogurt (vanilla, cinnamon, stevia/agave nectar/honey, fruit, etc) I was a little concerned about the sweetness of these. Yesterday morning I tried the Peach & Passionfruit one, and the label looks like this:

A little high on the sugars – most of which I’m pretty sure come from the “peach and passionfruit preparation” – or the jelly-like stuff on the bottom of the container. It was indeed very, very sweet, so I didn’t stir it all up. With the high-ish sugar content being its only real fault, I quite enjoyed it. The texture was nice and creamy – about the same as the Liberte fat-free plain one that I usually buy.

Using my lovely starfruit and my flavoured Greek yogurt, I made this for breakfast:

  • Base layer of Kashi Go Lean
  • Diced starfruit
  • PC Greek yogurt
  • more starfruit

The result? Really tasty! Although I’m sure a ripe starfruit is sweeter, this one was actually quite pleasant. The middle was a bit pithy but I just avoided that bit. Initially I thought I’d have to eat the flesh and discard the skin, but it was really soft and tasted fine. The yogurt was nice and creamy, and the textures of the fruit, Kashi Go Lean, and yogurt were like a party in my mouth. Repeater for sure! :)

4. Orzo. This is a new thing I’ve been looking for for a long time, and I finally found it this weekend!

Orzo is a small pasta that resembles grains of rice. It’s a common ingredient in Greek cooking, as well as other Mediterranean dishes. Orzo is mostly used in soups, but can be used in pilafs and act as a substitute for rice. I recently learned that even though word means barley in Italian, it’s not actually made with barley. Apparently, the best orzo is made of durum semolina wheat, which is a very hard wheat. This helps it to stay chewy and prevents any mushiness that you’d get if you used a softer wheat.

I made this purchase at Bulk Barn (always a good source for new things to try) and I was quite amused by the label on the container:

"Recommended uses: Soups, stews, and children's crafts."

Eh?? Really? Well, even though I’d consider myself a crafty sort from time to time, that wasn’t how I used mine. Instead, I turned it into something far more delicious: Tomato and Basil Shrimp with Orzo . First, the orzo boiled in a pot of water – just like pasta – for about 10 minutes. While this happened, I heated up some oil, garlic, chili flakes, and white wine (some for me, some for the skillet, some for me…..)

I added some cherry tomatos and fresh basil, as well as some cooked shrimp, and finally, the cooked orzo.

The final goods:

I initially thought this might make enough for two servings, but the quantities in the recipe link above make about 1 bowl. The orzo is very dense, so even though it doesn’t look big, I promise this will fill you up! (You could split it into two, which would make 2 lighter lunch portions). This was my dinner last night and I was more than satisfied. The texture of the orzo was interesting – not as soft as pasta but not as chewy as rice. It wasn’t bland either – the grains soaked up the flavour of the tomato and fresh basil really well. If you’re bored of regular pasta, I recommend giving orzo a try!

Annnnd that brings me to the end for today! Finally, my questions for you:

  • Have you ever tried starfruit or orzo? What did you think?
  • Did you do anything new yesterday? Tell me about it!

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